How to Make PDF Text Searchable with Online Tools and iPhone Default App

January 23, 2024Gerald Christian

Most PDF files contain various information with more topics. While all details are within the pages, sometimes, you would want to find what you are looking for quickly. This is the very reason why it is important to make PDF searchable, as it will make the task easier. In this article, you will be guided on how to do this with the best methods.

Make PDF Searchable

Part 1. Quickest Method to Make PDF Searchable

The easiest way to convert PDF to searchable PDF is to use Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate. It is a professional program that allows you to change PDF to Word, Excel, ePub, and other formats. Its award-winning OCR technology accurately recognizes every text and language for searchable PDFs. You can also rely on its converting system for multilingual files, including Chinese, French, Japanese, and more. Improve your work efficiency with the best PDF converter on Windows and Mac.



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Step 1.
Get the official Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate and install it on your computer. Run the application and click the Add Files button to upload the PDF file. After browsing your folder, click the Open button to confirm.
Aiseesoft PDF Download Upload File
Step 2.
Navigate to the Output Format menu and choose .pptx, .docx, and other desired formats from the dropdown list. Select the output language, mode, and other settings from the Preferences menu for conversion accuracy. Click OK to apply the changes to the output settings.
Aiseesoft PDF Output Format Advanced Settings
Step 3.
After setting up the advanced settings, go to the Output Folder menu and browse for the designated place to store the converted PDF files. At last, press the Start button to make searchable PDF files with OCR. After a few seconds, the converted file is exported to your local folder.
Aiseesoft PDF Preferences Start

Part 2. How to Convert PDF to Searchable PDF on Android/iPhone

Is it possible to convert scanned PDF to searchable PDF on a smartphone? Definitely, yes! Here are the online PDF editors and iPhone tools to get the searchable PDFs you need on your Android or iPhone.


This web-based program allows you to make PDF searchable for free. A simple online tool with a clean interface, providing a straightforward uploading and converting process. Meanwhile, it also supports uploading PDF files from other apps, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. ILovePDF is free to use on any browser with high accuracy in searchable conversion.

Step 1.
Click the Select PDF File button from the official webpage and upload the file. Otherwise, drag the file from the folder and drop it to the website.
ILovePDF Select PDF File Make PDF Searchable
Step 2.
One thing you can edit here is the document language. Use the search bar and look for the desired output language. Click the Apply OCR button to start the conversion.


How to make a PDF text searchable through keywords, names, or other categories? You can use OCR2Edit as an alternative online tool. It is free of charge and accessible to popular browsers. The process also takes a small amount of your time, including batch conversion for multiple PDFs. Here’s how to utilize the online converter:

Step 1.
Visit the OCR2Edit website and click the Choose File button. You can also get the file from Dropbox, Google, Drive, or by providing the URL.
OCR2Edit Choose File Convert PDF Searchable
Step 2.
When the file is uploaded, click the Start button and wait until the process is done. Export the converted file by clicking the Download button.


Do you want to convert 20 PDFs to searchable PDFs in one go? Online2PDF is the online tool you should try. Other than a simple PDF conversion, you can find other functions to edit, merge PDF files, and unlock files without a complicated setup. The best part is it offers a maximum of 150MB of uploads for free and up to 20 files.

Step 1.
Click Select Files to upload the PDF file from your folder. If you want to upload another file, click the Browse button from the File 2 section.
Online2PDF Select Files Searchable PDF
Step 2.
Choose the output format from the Convert To dropdown list with the character recognition. Once done, click the Convert button and download the converted file to your device.

iPhone OCR - iOS 15 or Above

If you have the later iPhone models, you can use the default way to convert PDF to searchable PDF. It is a fancy feature on iPhone, but you will need to install the iOS 15 and later versions to get this OCR feature on your iPhone. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1.
Open the Camera app on your device and access the Live Text function. You can usually find it in the lower right corner.
Step 2.
Place the documents you want to make a searchable PDF, then allow the function to copy and paste the text digitally. Tap the Live Text button to capture. View the picture on the Photos app.
iPhone OCR Camera App Live Text

Part 3. FAQs about Making PDF Searchable

Can I add searchable text in PDF?

Yes. One tool you can use to achieve this is Adobe Acrobat. Just open the software and upload a document. Navigate to the Tools list and select the Recognizer Text option. Access the PDF Output Style Searchable Image button to add the searchable text to the document. Click OK to save the changes.

Can the iPhone SE extract the text from a PDF document?

Yes. All you have to do is to capture the document with the Camera app. Go to the Edit menu and make an Image Selection. Choose the Text Recognition function from the dropdown list and wait until the words are recognized. Copy and paste it to apps or other documents.

What is the difference between a true PDF and an OCR PDF?

True PDFs are mostly created using Word, InDesign, and Excel via the Print function on these tools. The format has vector data structures, so the display quality is unaffected, even when zooming in or out. On the other hand, OCR PDF allows you to turn a document into digital text, giving you the option for machine-readable words.


In reality, converting PDF to searchable PDF is not a difficult task, especially when there are tools available online and even on an iPhone. With that being said, you can effectively convert your PDFs using Aiseesoft Converter Ultimate with quality recognition. Click the Download button to try it for free on Windows or Mac and change the file extension to DOCX, ePub, and more.

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